You have a couple of bills working their way through the state house that offer aid and comfort to the Intelligent Design wackos. You don’t want that, do you? If you live in Maryland, are a scientist, teacher, or dependent on science research, sign the online petition to oppose these nasty little bills. Work fast, too, you don’t have much time.


  1. Rheinhard says

    I lived in Maryland until January, does that count? I’m probably still registered to vote there.

  2. says

    I neither work nor live in Maryland, but occasionally I bird there. I don’t think that makes me a constituent, though.

  3. says

    Oh, man, what a crock of ten pounds of batsqueeze that one is. “Academic freedom”? My ass. It’s all about a bunch of loudmouths who can intimidate some poor wimpy biology teacher, who doesn’t get paid enough to duke it out with the hoards of screaming parents (OK, maybe one or two) who makes life miserable for him. So can, under law, just retreat rather than fight ’em.

  4. Nunov Yurbiznez says

    Yep. Sign a worthless online petition that won’t go anywhere or accomplish anything. Just a way for people to show off an “act of righteousness” to be seen and honored by men.

  5. Alan says

    I live in Maryland, but I don’t work in the field of science, and therefore, according to the petition, I’m not eligible to sign =(. But if you hear about any other petitions, protests, etc., please post about them. I want to do anything possible to keep this out.

  6. Joe Shelby says

    Supposedly, there’s a hearing on 1531 (“Academic Freedom Act”) on thursday at 1pm, though I don’t know where precisely (likely in Annapolis, but I’m not a MD resident or else I’d be there…I may show up anyways with a printed collection of criticisms of the so-called “Academic Freedom” for others to read).

  7. Joe Shelby says

    The hearing is only on the Higher Education sections of the bill, not the K-12 grades, and its tucked into the Budget and Taxation group, not the education group.

  8. Marine Geologist says

    Seems a tad ironic that the liberal bastion of the ACC has crap like this occurring when south of the border, home of Liberty U, the sleazy spectre has not yet arisen. Not that it couldn’t, so far it just hasn’t.

  9. kenneth says

    I agree with Nunov. If you want to do something contact your elected representative. You know, the ones who vote on the bill.

  10. Jeremy says

    Echo: Online petitions are useless.

    I live in D.C. (I’m at college here), but the proximity alone pisses me off.

  11. Cyde Weys says

    Hey, I live in Maryland, and I also write a column for University of Maryland’s newspaper, so … I think I’m gonna cover this. PZ, check your email! And if anyone else has any ideas or resources, hit me up!

  12. says

    This petition will do something, as it will be submitted as written testimony at the hearing.

    Of course, this should not deter one from contacting their elected representative.

  13. Jeremy says

    Heh, I just realized that if I wrote for my school paper (which I’m planning to do NEXT semester), I’d probably be covering this too.

  14. Jeremy says

    American University. Average academics, fantastic location. Costs an arm and a leg. I’m not paying for it. Yippee yay!

  15. Rheinhard says

    I sent this link to Oliver Willis, a liberal blogger and Maryland native who also works for Media Matters for America, who just posted it there. I’ve thrown down on a few of the occasional post threads there on the whole ID thing with some of his right-wing commenters. Think I’ll have to add a comment in his thread to point his readers at some of your cephalopodean (sp?) goodness.

  16. says

    I’m optimistic that these bills will never get off the ground. Maryland’s pretty Blue, and between the NIH being centered in Bethesda, Hopkins, and the UMaryland system, there’s a pretty strong concentration of scientists in the state who should be able to contain this flimsy ID attempt. Unfortunately, I live in PA instead of MD now, so I can’t jump in the fight.

    By the way, is Morris really now considered the best public liberal arts college? That title used to be held by my alma mater, St. Mary’s College of MD… I always thought it was a joke cause I thought we were one of only two or three public liberal arts schools in the nation…

  17. Science Goddess says

    Just sent emails to my three MD representatives. It’s the only thing that works!
    I’m a practicing scientist, educator and lurker!

  18. Opiwan says

    I live in Anne Arundel County and already emailed my state reps. If it gets past the House of Delegates, you can bet that my state senator will be hearing from me, too. I started spreading the word amongst the teachers my wife works with (she teaches science in Baltimore County Public Schools) so hopefully they’ll get an email campaign going school-system-wide. Keep fighting the good fight, all.

  19. Apikoros says

    Thanks for the heads-up, PZ! I was only vaguely aware of one of the two bills. I signed the petition, as a warmup to writing my state reps.

  20. says

    Gee, can you spot the error here?

    House Bill 1531 says, in 6-115 (C)(1),

    A teacher may not be […] discriminated against for presenting scientific information relating to […] intelligent design.

    And 6-115 (G)(2) says,

    [This section may not be construed to] protect as scientific a view that lacks published or empirical or observational support or that has been soundly refuted by empirical or observational science in published scientific debate

    The only interpretation I can come up with is, “If ID were scientific, it would be protected.”